Saturday, September 27, 2014

How Long Should I Workout?

How long should I workout? I get that question a lot. First, lets separate three activities: weight lifting, cardio and abs.

Lets start with the weight lifting, everybody is different but work out too long and you waste your time. Who wants to waste time, correct? Workout smart!  When you are doing intense workouts with heavy weights, you deplete your mental and physical reserves of energy and working out more than 60 minutes can be counter productive. (If you are really hardcore and want to workout two hours a day even though you are doing intense workouts you can do a split workout where you do one body part in the early morning and an un-related body part in the evening.) I suggest before you step foot into the gym you decide how long you will be there. Aim for an intense 45 minutes. No more!  Once in the weight room you need to stay focused, look at the clock when you start your first rep and make a mental note of when you need to leave. Wear your ipod, keep your head down and stay focused and you can get a great workout in a short amount of time.

Cardio time is separate and how long you should do cardio depends on if you are trying to lose weight or are doing it for just general cardiovascular health.  If you just want to keep healthy then 30 minutes of walking per day is fine but if you want to lose weight you are going to need to try and do 60 minutes per day of a strenuous exercise like swimming, biking or running. Another question I get all the time is “Do you do the cardio before or after weight lifting?” Honestly, it would be best if it was at some other time in the day but that is not practical for most people. I don’t even have time for that on most days.  Most of us don’t like doing stationary cardio in the gym so do it before or after your weight lifting, whichever you find easier because its better to do it at the “wrong time” than not at all. If you are really concerned, do it AFTER your weight training.  

Abs are a separate workout and I usually do them with my cardio or before starting my weight workout. The main point is not to interfere with your main weight workout by trying to do ab exercises between sets. The most effective ab exercise is the forearm plank. Start with 20 secs and build from there. Your goal is 2 minutes.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sassy Girl Supports HempPro 70! My review + contest

I recently tried the New HempPro 70 plant-based protein supplement by Manitoba Harvest Foods. I was excited to try this because HempPro 70 is the only water soluble hemp protein powder on the market. I was curious to see how it compared to other protein powders.
The first thing I will say about this product is that it is super easy to use. I love that I can just add it to a shaker cup and go! No blender needed! It is super easy to mix and you are quickly left with a nice smooth, creamy texture. I found that I liked this shake much better than other protein shakes that are made from whey or rice. It is a mild taste but purely delicious! I tried both the Vanilla and the Chocolate flavors and, although I enjoyed them both, I found Vanilla to be my favorite. It is delicious to drink on its own but it can also be stirred in to yogurt or hot cereal (I found this a really yummy option!). And, as the recommended serving size is just 4 tablespoons, it works great for baking too!
HempPro 70 has 15 grams of protein per 30 gram serving and provides all of your essential amino acids because it is a completly plant-based protein. This makes it a great choice for vegan or vegetarian diets. And, because it is pure plant protein with only four ingredients in each flavor, it is 95% digestible.
I can’t stress enough how important hemp can be for optimal health. It is an excellent source of Omega-3 and a great source of protein. There are just so many beneficial nutrients in hemp that I wouldn’t hesitate to classify this as a real “super” food. Especially for those people who rely on artificial protein powders as a major part of their diet. It’s important to note that Manitoba Harvest Foods is an organic and kosher certified facility and uses absolutely no pesticides on their crops. This makes for good manufacturing practices that only enhance their products.

I highly recommend you give the HempPro 70 protein powder a try. I am curious if you will like it as much as I do. In fact, let’s try this: Mix up a serving then snap a pic and tag @manitobaharvest on Instagram or send a tweet and the hashtag #pro70 in the comment. Do this and you will automatically be entered to win a case of your favorite flavor! Remember, how you use this product will be up to you! Simply mix it in to a 12oz glass of water, add it to your favorite fruit juice, or blend it in to a smoothie. The contest ends September 30. Be creative and take those pics!  (Don't forget to let them know if you'd rather win Chocolate or Vanilla!) 

Want to try it for yourself at a discount? Well, you are in luck! Just because you are a Sassy Girl reader you get 20% off the #pro70 Vanilla and Chocolate flavors with the code: sweatpinkpro70

Want Sassy Girl to review your product? Contact me here

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Commercial Break Workout

I spent the day yesterday doing NOTHING and it was awesome. It was my 1st day off from work in over 3 weeks (Shame on me for doing that to myself) but my Netflix binge watching made me miss my commercials. Why? The TV commercial workout is ideal for couch potatoes.

Instead of getting up for another bowl of ice cream or chips, etc. during commercials, get up off the couch and do some simple exercises to burn calories, improve strength and rev up your metabolism. You gotta keep that awesome body of yours in check!

An hour-long TV show contains about 18 minutes of commercials. Duh!  If you watch just two shows a day, this workout can give you 36 minutes’ worth of exercise to help you lose weight and improve muscle tone. Seems easy enough, right?
During just one hour long TV show, you can burn 92 calories by doing jumping jacks or crunches during the commercials, or you can burn 205 calories by jumping rope during the ads. You can also perform pushups, crunches or squats, or use hand weights to perform standard weight training exercises.

If you want to get a full-body workout in during your two hours’ worth (or more) of TV, alternate exercises during each commercial break. For example, during the first break, do crunches. During the second break, burpees. During the third break, perform squats, and so on. By the end of the evening, you will have worked all of your major muscle groups, gotten in some cardio and burned a number of calories. Who doesn’t love that?
And because I love you so much…here's a workout you can do.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Barre? I'm Scared and Have Questions!

I try to talk to my students before class and get a feel for where they are mentally and physically each day.  When speaking to new students before my barre class or if I’m talking to a student about my barre classes I get a lot of the same questions. I thought I would share the questions I get and my answers with you.

I have never done ballet or barre before. Will I be out of place in a class?
All barre workouts are designed to develop dancer-like bodies without having years of technical training. It is my responsibility as an instructor ensure that every student is comfortable with the technique and is working at a safe and effective level through hands-on corrections, verbal cues and demonstration.
What is the best attire?
Leave your tutus at home! To get the most from your barre class it is best to wear workout clothing, (as an instructor I can tell you that it is easier for me to correct your form when you are wearing form fitting clothing) a comfortable top that covers your midriff, and socks or barefeet.
What makes Barre class special and different from other types of workouts? (Yoga, Pilates, Gym)
There is good reason for the rapid growth and popularity of the barre technique. Although there are elements of yoga and pilates, barre is a workout like none other. With little or no equipment involved, it will change your body in only a few classes creating definition in your arms, a lifted seat, and lean thighs. No need to spend hours at the gym….60 minutes in a barre class and you will have addressed every muscle group and feel worked!
What body parts can I expect to see a difference in? What will the effect on my body and health be?
After taking just a few barre classes, most people notice that they feel taller and more toned. The barre technique focuses on strengthening the core, enhancing posture and proper alignment, while sculpting those hard to get areas like the abs, seat, and thighs.
How often should I take class?
A great start would be 2-3 times a week. But to get the most out of your barre workout, you will want to increase your workouts to 3-4 times a week. Class choreography is constantly being updated to avoid muscle adaptation so that each class remains fresh and you are always being challenged.
Barre workouts are an effective and efficient way to get a long lean look.